Nour sought to end the silence of domestic violence, with the help of our counsellor, Khalida Haque. We were able to deliver a positive empowerment session for women, of which the objective was to get the women to take control of their lives and to break the wall that was preventing them from having a better future. Khalida covered the areas of self esteem and domestic violence, the relationship between the two and the exploration of safety whilst in a violent relationship. Alhamdulillah everyone was engaged, on point and on consensus with what self-esteem meant to each other. The support everybody gave each other was astounding, in a matter of an hour, strangers became sisters and they all had the same things on their minds, to become their own person, to be able to have control of their own lives again and to live without fear.
During the session, the women gathered to share their brave stories and life lessons; inspiring each other to obtain the physical, mental, and emotional growth and freedom any woman deserves, especially for suffering from domestic violence. The session entailed these women to develop a new sense of self, encouraged by identifying their own capabilities. Networking with other women like themselves gave them the confidence to speak up and thus, establish invaluable relationships, which in itself was a big step.
Discussions at the end focused on the cause and effects of domestic violence, related back to individual cases. Despite being a painful process, the clients were able to take their time to share their perceptions of how to break the vicious cycle of staying in a violent relationship. By identifying their strengths and core beliefs, the clients were ready to challenge themselves; the exercise which entailed complimenting each other was a great way of knowing that they are not worthless, they are not weak beings; if anything, these women are strong individuals with a great drive – and ones whom just want their confidence back. Regardless of the judgmental eyes of society, such stigmas about these women being weak or living in a refuge, it does not give anybody the right to put these women down. We all have our own struggles, but it does not give us the right to take away someone else’s confidence. Nour prays that such sessions will help these women with their self-esteem and self-worth.
Khalida Haque is a BSc (Hons) graduate in Biomedical Sciences. She holds an RSA Certificate in ‘Counselling Skills in the Development of Learning’ along with a Postgraduate Diploma in ‘Counselling and Psychotherapy’. She is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and abides by their ethical framework. Khalida is an Integrative Therapist and has over four years of clinical experience. Currently she has her own independent practice whilst also working for Woman’s Trust, a domestic violence charity. She has, in the past, also provided counselling with Sanibel Counselling Centre, Terrence Higgins Trust and Age Concern, Camden. She is experienced in providing both short and long term therapy and has helped clients explore and come to terms with various issues including depression, anxiety, sexuality, childhood abuse, trauma, relationships, self-esteem, eating disorders, self-harm, anger, loss and bereavement. Khalida works with clients collaboratively utilising therapeutic models and techniques such as the current mode du jour Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as well as others like Person Centred, Solution-Focussed, Psychodynamic, Gestalt, Mediation and Relaxation. She actively maintains and updates her training by attending various counselling/psychotherapy courses. Khalida also attends regular weekly Tafsir and Qur’anic Arabic classes as well as frequenting Islamic workshops, seminars, lectures and conferences. She loves to learn and enjoys sharing what she learns. Khalida is bi-lingual and able to provide counselling in English, Sylheti and Bengali. She has been brought up and educated in the UK.